Background & Personality
As in Greek mythology, she is the goddess of wisdom and heroic endeavor, and daughter of Zeus. In Kurumada's mythos, she is sent to Earth every 250 years, when evil takes over Earth. Her mission during every one of her incarnations is to restore peace and bring hope, destroy the agent of evil and protect Earth. To do so, she has been assisted since the age of myth by an army of 88 youths of great strength and courage, whose fists rend the skies and whose kicks split the earth, who don radiant holy armor called Cloths, and who are known as the Saints of Athena.
Athena is said to be by birthright the goddess of battle, but she does not believe in conquest and only fought defensive wars. She hates weapons, and thus only allows her Saints to battle using their bodies and armors. The only Saint allowed to wield weapons is the Libra Gold Saint, and it is only with her permission that the Saints are allowed to brandish the weapons kept by the Libra Saint.
She has opposed the ambitions of antagonist deities since the age of myth in Greece, earning herself the rejection of the other Olympian gods. She has especially had a long-standing conflict with the god of the Underworld, Hades.
The Sands of Time
"Saori" (沙織) is a fairly common given name in Japan. Literally, it translates to "Sand Weave". It is interesting to note that, in mythologies, the Greek deity Athena is also known as the patroness of weaving.
The Goddess of Wisdom
When she was born to Earth, Saori Kido was immediately recognized as the new incarnation of Athena, a blessing that occurs roughly every 200 years. She was placed into Sanctuary to be guarded by the Grand Pope. A twist of fate put the young infant's life in danger as Gemini Saga, masquerading as the Grand Pope, made an attempt at her life by attempting to pierce her belly with a golden dagger. Fortunately, the gentle and fiercely loyal gold saint Sagittarius Aiolos was within the area and rescued the baby before any harm could bestow her. Aiolos and Saga fought for a few moments, with the former suffering life-threatening injuries. The Sagittarius would not survive the morning, but, before passing, destiny allowed him to meet and transfer the duty of protecting the infant Athena onto the hands of a successful wealthy traveling businessman -- Mitsumasa Kido, the pioneer of Japan's Graude Foundation. Aiolos explained to the elderly man about the child's destiny and the corruption of Sanctuary. He offered proof of his words -- the Gold Cloth of Sagittarius. Moved by the saint's unwavering loyalty, Kido was more than willing to oblige.
Growing up with a media giant figurehead spoiled the young baby. She was given the name of Saori, and would always be surrounded by dozens of young children that her adopted grandfather had orphaned (and sometimes abducted) into the foundation. Saori was a cruel child, often picking on and bossing the young orphans into doing her bidding. Seiya and Jabu were two of her favorite victims, with the former often refusing to adhere to her whims. Unbeknown to Saori at the time, ten of these boys would grow up to become her warriors upon a journey that was greater than what she or her grandfather had originally envisioned.
Eventually, every single one of the orphans were sent away on mysterious training missions, with little hope from the Foundation of them returning safely. Throughout the years, Saori grew up and slowly shredded her immature bratty personality and became a much more diplomatic and gentle young lady. Mitsumasa Kido eventually succumb to death, leaving Saori to take over the helms of the Foundation. She would prove to be just as talented as her grandfather was, and lead the Graude Foundation to be the most successful and leading industrial name in the business world. At around the same time, the young Kido would discover the truth behind her life, and understood that Sanctuary had been compromised by an evil entity.
It wouldn't be too long before several of the orphans returned from their desolate training. Each of them had grew up to be fine, powerful young men. They had passed the tests of Sainthood and were each given a Cloth -- an ancient armor denoting their constellation alliance -- to announce this feat. The first seven to return were Jabu of Unicorn, Ban of Lionet, Nichi of Wolf. Ichi of Hydra, Geki of Bear, Shiryu of Dragon, and Shun of Andromeda -- collectively known as the Bronze Saints. With enough of the Saints at her side, Saori remolded a plan that her grandfather had originally devised -- a faux tournament known as "The Galaxian Wars", carried out by these saints for two goals: to test the will of these young men, and to provoke the malicious presence hiding within Sanctuary.
The next to appear was Seiya of Pegasus, of whom Saori shared a history with. Seiya, remembering Saori for the spoiled brat that haunted the better part of his childhood, refused to partake in her tournament. After some convincing from his childhood friend Miho, the Pegasus accepted the Kido heir's offer to fight. Hyoga of Cygnus was the next in line to return from his training in Siberia. In the manga, he was originally in league with Sanctuary to assassinate the other saints for misusing their cloths. He would later be convinced that Sanctuary was the true evil when the Pope sent annihilate him along with the other bronze saints.
At this point, the tournament was well underway, with each saint fighting bloody battles with one another. The event would soon be jeopardized by the arrival of the final bronze saint, Ikki of Phoenix. Ikki, while not affiliated with Sanctuary besides his bronze cloth, was bitter and determined to disrupt the tournament and livelihood of Saori Kido and those associated with the Graude Foundation. With the help of his own team, the Black Saints, Ikki managed to steal the Sagittarius Gold Cloth. Saori immediately halted the tournament and ordered the saints to retrieve it. The other saints, particularly Ikki's younger brother, Shun, were intrigued as to what had churned the Phoenix into becoming a man of bitter hatred. The saints that were available to fight -- Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, and Shun -- quickly gave chase. These four would slowly but surely become the bulk of warriors sworn to protect Athena from enemies.
The four bronze saints would go on to defeat Ikki and his team, and reclaimed various pieces of the gold cloth. However, their savage battles attracted the attention of Sanctuary -- which was exactly what Saori had hoped for. Silver Saints were sent to kill them and take the Sagittarius armor for Sanctuary. After an entire day of violent bouts, the bronze saint team of Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, and Shun, were able to secure the precious cloth back to the Graude Foundation. It is, at this point, that they truly meet Saori Kido -- as the reincarnation of the Goddess of War and Wisdom, Athena. At first, the saints refused to believe Kido's words. Even if she was speaking the truth, they would not fight for her out of principle -- the cruel treatment that she and the Graude Foundation had administered to them throughout their childhood was more than reason enough. Enraged by the young men's lack of passion, Athena branded them cowards and vowed to battle Sanctuary on her own, if she must.
The Goddess of War
The Sanctuary was one step ahead of her, however, and had already assembled silver saints to abduct her. The first was Jamian of Crow, a silver saint with a precise, inherited control of crows at his whim. Utilizing his bird friends, he was able to use them to knock out Saori and ferry her across the sky, along with every part of the gold cloth. Hearing her initial shriek of despair, the bronze saints could not leave her to Jamian and reacted quickly. Seiya chased after Saori while Shiryu, Hyoga, and Shun attacked the birds carrying the cloth pieces.
The crows settled down on a high cliff where Jamian awaited, leaving Saori with him. Seiya soon caught up and a battle between the two saints ensued. Not long, Shaina of Ophiuchus made her presence known, with her own score to settle with Seiya. The two silver saints cornered the Pegasus, and at this point, Saori awoke from unconsciousness. With no other alternative, Seiya asked Saori to hold him tight -- and the two jumped off the cliff into the night sky, then descending to the rocky abyss below.
The next morning, Saori awoke in a field of flowers, with an unconscious Seiya nearby. It seems the bronze saint had taken the blunt of the fall and suffered a devastating head injury as a result. Shaina and Jamian caught up with her, and demanded her to leave with the Crow while Shaina prepared to end the last bit of life in Seiya. Saori refused, and ignited an overwhelming cosmos that left both silver saints in quiet awe -- they recognized it as the warmth of their goddess, Athena. The energy mesmerized even Jamian's crows, causing them to disobey their master's orders to abduct her, and, in turn, attack him. This disoriented the silver saint, and ultimately led him to his death.
Shaina would have none of this, and charged after Seiya, even with Athena's cosmos shielding him. Fortunately, Shun and Hyoga had caught up just in time and stopped her before she could harm Saori. At this point, more silver saints appeared -- Capella of Auriga and Dante of Cerberos. The two silvers effortlessly defeated Hyoga and Shun, tossing them off a second cliff by stringing them together with his inferno chains. Luckily, the two survived when the metal chain caught onto a jagged rock from the wall of the cliff, sparing them from the same fatal impact that Jamian met only moments ago.
With Hyoga and Shun out of commission, Saori seemingly had no choice but to fend off the intruders herself -- until a former enemy reappeared as an ally -- Ikki. The Phoenix had used the power of his unique constellation to resurrect himself, and challenged the silver saints. He would go on to defeat Capella and leave Dante half-dead for Shun and Hyoga to finish. When the two bronze saints reemerged from the cliff, Ikki opted to leave. Saori, attempting to exercise her authority as Athena, insisted that Ikki remain with them -- an order that amused the Phoenix. He agreed to fight for the goddess, but only on his own terms.
Returning home to the Graude Foundation with the bronze saints now convinced to do battle with her for the greater good, Saori announced that she was going to challenge Sanctuary directly to take back her territory. Kido sent a letter with her intentions to Sanctuary, to which the Pope, otherwise known as Supreme Pontiff Ares, torn up in defiance. Realizing that it would take more than silver saints to kill Saori Kido, the Pontiff began to resort to dispatching gold saints -- warriors on the same level as himself and the fallen Sagittarius Aiolos. He manipulated Sanctuary's occupants by denouncing Saori Kido as an impostor Athena -- and as only a few knew that the true Pope had been quietly replaced years ago, none questioned his proclamation.
Gold Saint Aiolia of Leo was given the task of visiting Japan to destroy the bronze saints and smiting Saori. He was the younger brother of Sagittarius Aiolos, who had since been branded as a traitor by the Pontiff, and sought to regain his family's honor. Aiolia encountered Seiya, who was recovering but became entangled into another fight with Shaina. The Leo was determined to kill Seiya, but the bronze saint, to the surprise of all involved, would end up being protected by the spirit of Aiolos in the Sagittarius Cloth. As the fight continued, Shaina was accidently hit by one of Aiolia's powerful light-speed strikes.
It would take Athena herself to intervene in the battle between the two saints. Aiolia instantly felt the powerful cosmos stemming from Saori Kido, and had to admit that it was very reminiscent of his patron goddess. However, the words of the Supreme Pontiff cannot be discarded easily, so he compromised with Kido -- if she was truly the goddess Athena, then she should be able to take one of his fatal blows. To win his trust, Saori accepted his challenge, and the gold saint proceeded to attack. The punch was intercepted by Seiya, who berated Aiolia for even considering hitting a woman. Seiya's cosmos, combined with the spirit of Aiolos and the force of Aiolia's own fist, repelled the technique and knocked the Leo Saint away.
Aiolia regained his stance immediately, but he now understood that Saori Kido was really his goddess -- which also meant that she had been missing from the holy land for the past 13 years, contrary to the Pontiff's recurring assurance that she was with them in Sanctuary. Aiolia vowed to serve her in the fight to retake Sanctuary from the hands of Ares.
The appearance of Leo Aiolia and the blessing of Sagittarius Aiolos gave the bronze saints all the encouragement they needed to pledge their loyalty to Saori Kido. Athena and her saints, minus Shiryu and Ikki, flew over to Greece to confront the Supreme Pontiff once and for all. As they arrived, two figures greeted them -- a recovering Shiryu, and a mysterious hooded figure, who soon revealed himself to be Ptolemy of Sagitta. The silver saint attacked the visitors, and was swiftly beaten by Seiya for his efforts. However, the damage was done -- using his technique, Ptolemy was able to pierce the human and very mortal body of Saori Kido with a single golden arrow. Before dying, the Sagitta revealed that only Pontiff Ares has the power to remove the arrow that was slowly inching into Kido's heart -- and he was currently residing at the summit of the Twelve Temples of the Gold Saints. This left the bronze saints with a very difficult task -- they must defeat the gold saints that are guarding each temple in order to reach the Pontiff, of whom will likely battle with the bronze saints as well. To make matters worse, they have twelve hours before the arrow reached Saori's heart.
The war between the bronze saints and the gold saints was a bloody, miserable uphill struggle. Fortunately, they had previously secured the trust of Mu of Aries and his apprentice Kiki, who took the duty of watching over Saori Kido's injured body in the bronze saints' absence. Seiya battled the likes of Aldebaran of Taurus, and Aiolia of Leo, of whom had been physically brainwashed to kill by the Pontiff when the former challenged the latter for an explanation about the true history behind Saori Kido. Shiryu fought against Deathmask of Cancer and Shura of Capricorn. Hyoga encountered Milo of Scorpio and the man who trained him to become the Cygnus Saint, Camus of Aquarius. Shun fared bravely against a shadow replication of the Supreme Pontiff's true identity, Saga of Gemini, and the man who was responsible for the demise of his master and training home, Aphrodite of Pisces. In the Temple of Sagittarius, Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, and Shun were put into a trial of traps conjured by the spirit of Aiolos, as a test of their determination to protect their goddess. Lastly, Ikki himself also joined the battle when the bronze saints found hardship against Shaka of Virgo. Each victory was hard earned, and could not be possible if Saori had not aided her warriors by granting them access to their seventh sense, using her cosmos.
After a while, Aries Mu silently retreated when he sensed that more of Saori Kido's bronze saints had arrived to guard her from intruders. They were the group of Unicorn Jabu, Hydra Ichi, Bear Geki, Lionet Ban, and Wolf Nichi -- all of whom had just returned from receiving further training. Each had heard the calling of Athena's cosmos and were presumably informed of the current events by their masters. Saori's life-long servant, Tatsumi, was also present. Up in the Grand Pope's throne room, Seiya, the last remaining of the core five, had finally reached the Supreme Pontiff.
The Pegasus demanded that he extract the arrow from Kido's chest, and he will not hesitate to drag him by force, if necessary. Ares, apparently hit with a change of heart and remorse for his wrongdoings, removed his headdress to reveal himself as Saga of Gemini. He explained that he himself is powerless to aid Athena's current predicament, but there was one way to purge the arrow from the goddess -- with the divine shield from the Athena Parthenos statue. Seiya must obtain it and shine its holy light upon Saori Kido's body, and the arrow shall be instantly vanquished. Unsettled by Saga's change in personality but ultimately trusting, the bronze saint followed the Pontiff's instructions and made way to the giant statue waiting on the summit.
The Pontiff's newfound gentler disposition would only last for a few minutes, and suddenly, Seiya was at the receiving end of a light-speed barrage of blows. The transformation was not only mental, but physical as well -- Saga's hair faded from a bright shade of blue to an alarming grey, and the white of his eyes now bloodshot. Confused and disturbed by the abrupt changes, the Pegasus Saint had no choice but to duke it out with Saga. However, the Gemini's strength proved to be far too much for Seiya, with the bronze saint's every move rendered ineffective against him. Even the arrival of Phoenix Ikki on the battlefield could barely halt Saga's murderous intent. Throughout the battle, Saga himself confirmed the theory that had been traveling throughout Sanctuary about the events that transpired 13 years ago as fact -- that he was the mastermind who had assassinated the original Pope, masqueraded in his place, attempted a murder on the then-infant Athena, and finally shifted the blame onto an innocent Aiolos. This revelation left no one in Sanctuary with doubts as to who the true evil of the holy ground was.
Meanwhile, Seiya and Ikki continued to endure each onslaught the Gemini brought forth, with the Phoenix being obliterated after a while. Finally, the miracle of Athena's cosmos granted Seiya the extra strength to put down the Gemini Saint -- but only long enough for him to retrieve the shield of the Athena Parthenos. Atop on the summit of the Pope's throne room, Seiya reflected the light of the shield down below onto Saori, vaporizing the golden arrow just as Saga located him. The Pontiff was one step too late, and Athena's mortal body instantly recovered.
By this point, every saint and foot soldier within Sanctuary had realigned with their patron goddess. With the bronze saints, silver saints, and assorted soldiers standing firm behind her, Saori Kido marched up the stairs of the twelve temples. She met Mu and Kiki, and both were happy to assist. Aldebaran in the Temple of Taurus welcomed her with open arms, as did surviving gold saints Leo Aiolia and Virgo Shaka. Scorpio Milo sworn himself in as Kido and the saints entered his temple. At the Temple of Capricorn lie a fallen Shiryu on the verge of death; Hyoga was rapidly losing conscious in the Temple of Aquarius, and Shun was nearly drained of life at the Temple of Pisces. Moved by her bronze saints' undying wills, Saori used her divine cosmos to heal them from certain deaths. With almost everyone intact, Kido and her army of warriors now advanced towards the Pope's throne room to finish the battle with Gemini Saga, once and for all.
Utterly frustrated with defeat, Saga continued to beat on the limp body of Seiya, knocking him around with various strikes and punches. Before he had a chance to land the killing blow, however, his cosmos was stopped by a powerful presence -- Athena's. Saori commanded that he withdraw and atone for all of his sins. Her saints were less forgiving, especially Aiolia, who had been forced to suffer years of shame and humility because Saga had stigmatize his brother Aiolos as a traitor instead of the hero he truly was. Prideful, Saga refused and challenged Athena and her saints to take him down. Upon hearing this, the gold saints were more than willing to accept, but ceased when they realized that Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, Shun, and Ikki had once more regained their battle stances. The bronze saints charged their cosmos one last time for a big finale, and channeled their energies into Seiya -- resulting in one of the most devastating version of his "Pegasus Ryu Sei Ken" ever unleashed. Overwhelmed by the sheer power of the attack, Saga was sent soaring into the night sky. Having completely exhausted their cosmos, the five bronze saints each collectively fainted. The war was finally over, and Athena and her saints began to rejoice... until Saga returned.
It seems that not even the bronze saints' combined seventh sense cosmos attack was enough to put down the Gemini. Landing acrobatically from above, Saga proclaimed that he was the strongest man on the planet, and that was why he felt justified when he committed his past crimes. In his eyes, if the fate of the world was left in the hands of a young girl like Saori Kido, then life as they knew it will never be secure. An army is only as good as its general, and Saga was a firm believer that the strong will survive and the weak should die. Saori questioned the morality in the his words, and Saga responded with a strike. Milliseconds before his fist could connect, however, the Gold Cloth of Gemini refused to condone Saga's actions and removed itself from his body. Annoyed but unwavering, Saga attempted yet another attack, and this time, it was his good side -- the remorseful personality that had previously manifested when Seiya first approached the throne room --, that resurfaced and stopped the gold saint from executing the ultimate sin of Sainthood. Before Saori realized what was happening, Saga had grabbed her Goddess of Victory staff and struck himself in the abdomen with a fatal blow. The Gemini Saint dropped to his knees, and, as his hair color rescinded from grey to blue, he explained that an evil entity had overtaken his soul years ago and forced him to vehemently commit sins that forced his internal conscience to struggle until this very day. Falling into Saori's arms, Saga begged for her forgiveness and understanding -- which she sympathetically granted. Content that he had been pardoned for his crimes, Saga died with a peace of mind in the arms of his goddess.
The epic battle at Sanctuary took a massive toll on Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, Shun, and Ikki, forcing them to do nothing but rest. The gold saints assumed the responsibility of repairing the damaged bronze cloths, as well as keeping a watchful eye over Athena's safety.
The peace would not last long. While taking a small break for leisure at the Kido Mansion with a few minor bronze saints, Saori Kido found herself under the attack of an invader from the north. The powerful warrior was Syd of the Mizar Zeta star, a member of a group of heroes from Asgard collectively known as The God Warriors. He had previously journeyed to Sanctuary for an audience with Kido, defeating several foot soldiers and the gold saint Taurus Aldebaran on his path. After searching Sanctuary, Syd realized that Kido had actually not yet made the holy land her home. He sought after her at the next ideal location, the mansion of the Graude Foundation.
Syd announced that he had come to take Athena's head back to his homeland in the name of his sworn priestess, Hilda of Polaris. He began his assault, with Unicorn Jabu picking up the challenge -- and ultimately becoming Syd's next victim. Just as the god warrior was inches from successfully decapitating Saori's head, the chains of Andromeda pulled him away. The core group of Seiya, Shiryu, Hyoga, Shun, and Ikki had at last recovered, and, donning their newly restored cloths, were ready to protect their goddess once again. This forced Syd to retreat, as even he would not dare to take on five different saints -- especially the same ones that emerged victorious against several gold saints.
Saori, troubled by the fact that Asgard apparently demanded her death, decided to seek out Hilda to resolve the existing conflict. Fortunately, Hyoga was familiar with Asgard and served as their connection to the northern region. Upon arriving, Saori met with Freya, the high priestess's younger sister, who explained that Hilda became quite estranged and unfamiliar after returning from one of her daily prayers. Whereas she was normally kind and giving, the new Hilda demanded calamity and destruction. She had become delusional with a firm belief that Athena's blood will bring peace and prosperity to her land. Hilda had further established her convictions by reawaken Asgard's legendary armors, the God Robes, and bestowing them upon warriors she deemed worthy and capable.
Polaris Hilda then made her presence known, and Saori Kido was immediately able to figure out the source of her radical change in personality -- the Nibelung Ring on her finger. Hilda scoffed and challenged Athena and her saints to remove it, and ordered her own god warriors to dispose of them. As the young men on both side waged war with each other, Saori had a duty of her own -- Hilda's recent neglect of praying for the balance of Asgard's weather had a negative affect on the region -- ice caps had begun melting, and the blizzards were much more frequent than before. It was up to Athena to use her divine cosmos to prevent Asgard from being annihilated.
After several days' worth of hard fought battles, Seiya and the other bronze saints managed to free Hilda from the grasp of the Nibelung Ring. Saori had nearly exhausted her cosmos by this point, and the harsh freezing weather threatened her mortal well-being. Hilda, regaining her gentle nature, felt remorse for becoming captivated by the Nibelung Ring and quickly resumed her priestess duties. As Hilda prayed for balance to be restored, it was revealed that the higher power that manipulated Asgard was actually the King of the Seas himself, Poseidon. Forming a powerful harpoon with the water from the still-melting ice caps, the Greek god kidnapped a fatigued Saori Kido down into the bottom of the seas, where his oceanic palace proudly stood.
Athena and Poseidon had previously met in this generation under their human incarnations, Saori Kido and Julian Solo. Solo was a wealthy businessman with several expeditions throughout the seven seas; a rival to Kido's land estate, if there was one. However, Julian's intention towards Saori was neither hostile nor rivalrous, but romantic. He reasoned that he felt a very strong vibe towards her, as if the two of them had met in a previous lifetime -- and thus, he felt comfortable asking for her hand in marriage. Amused but respectful, Kido declined -- which shocked Julian, as he claimed it was the first time he had been rejected.
Saori awoke in an unfamiliar setting, but met with a familiar face -- Solo's. By now, he had learned that he was, in fact, the mortal reincarnation of the ancient deity, Poseidon, and embraced it. He and Kido innately recognized each other's true identity via the cosmos, which only served to excite Solo further. Enchanted by the potential for total world domination in a union between Poseidon and Athena, Julian again offered her a place as his bride. Saori proclaimed that if Solo's intention was to take over the world, then she would surely be opposed to him and will battle for the continued peace of mankind. Declaring himself as the King of the Seas, Julian Solo locked Saori Kido within the confines of a giant pillar -- with water slowly pouring from each side. Above, Solo explained that he was intending to drown her so that she could not interfere with his plans.
Back on land, the bronze saints sensed that Athena was in danger. With the help of Hilda, Freya, and Shiryu's master, Dohko of Libra, they devised a way to enter the Under Seas Temple. Gold Saints Aiolia and Milo had originally wanted to go with them, but were restrained by both Mu and Dohko for reasons they would not explain at the time. As they descended down into the new continent, Seiya, Hyoga, Shiryu, and Shun traveled through the palace, each one initiating battles with Poseidon's seven Marine Sea Generals. Knowing that her bronze saints were once again fighting for her, Saori maintained that she cannot die and supported her warriors with her great cosmos.
After much bloodshed, Seiya, Shiryu, and Hyoga, each donning the Gold Cloth of Sagittarius, Gold Cloth of Libra, and Gold Cloth of Aquarius, respectively, managed to destroy the pillar that had trapped Athena for all this time. Julian Solo, his mind, body, and soul now fully manifesting as Poseidon, declared that his ambition shall not perish. With the sacred jar carrying her seal -- the same artifact that she had imprisoned Poseidon's spirit in a previous ancient war --, Saori harnessed her cosmos and absorbed the deity's spirit back into the containment jar.
A short time passed since the Poseidon incident, and Saori Kido had fully embraced the responsibilities as the Goddess of Wisdom and War. She relocated to the Pope's throne room in Sanctuary, and, with the help of Libra Dohko, were preparing the saints within the holy land for the ultimate conflict -- the reawakening of Hades, Greek God of the Underworld, and his ambitions to alter life as they know it. The two deities shared a deep history with one another -- every two and a half centuries, Athena and Hades would reincarnate into human forms in a bitter cycle for dominance of the Earth. And, for this generation, that time had finally arrived.
Compassionate for all of the blood that Seiya, Shiryu, Shun, Hyoga, and Ikki had shred in her name, and desiring for them to live a normal life, Saori placed orders to prevent the five bronze saints from participating in the war, going as far as banning them from Sanctuary altogether. She became acquainted with Kanon of Gemini, Saga's younger twin brother -- and the man who was responsible for uniting Julian Solo and Poseidon. Kanon wished to atone for the atrocities he had caused, and vowed to fight in Athena's name by embracing the void left by his brother's death. Meanwhile, Hades had revived Shion, Deathmask, Aphrodite, and the trio of Saga, Camus, and Shura to fight on his side. The latter group charged into Sanctuary with the faux declaration of taking Athena's head. Even after every saint in Sanctuary had accepted that Saga, Shura, and Camus had each genuinely defected, Saori did not lose faith in them. She ordered Mu, Aiolia, and Milo, who were all fighting with the traitors at the time, to bring them to her.
Saori Kido approached a compunctious Saga and presented him with an object -- and, to his surprise, it was the very golden dagger that he had used on an attempt at her life all of those years ago. He was disconcerted when she asked him to kill her; her reasoning that, with her death, he and Camus and Shura would no longer be bound and tormented by Hades. Saga was bewildered, but before he had a chance to oppose, Saori had already grabbed the blade of the dagger and plunged it into her throat. Athena was now dead.
Kido's suicide was not in vain. Prior to Saori's suicide, Virgo Shaka had discovered a method to access the eighth sense, known as "Arayashiki", which activated the power to remain free from the afterlife's grasp even after death. After sacrificing his own life, the gold saint returned briefly to share this knowledge with Athena. In the Underworld, Saori and Shaka united, and together searched for Hades' whereabouts. By this point, the bronze saints group of Seiya, Shun, Hyoga, and Shiryu had already inserted themselves into the war, with each one defeating their share of enemies. In an ironic twist, it was revealed that Shun was Hades' chosen human vessel -- a fact that Shaka and Athena would come to discover when they located Hades mediating in his throne room. It took the combined efforts of Athena's cosmos, her blood, and Shun's own cosmos of Andromeda to eject Hades' soul out of the saint once and for all. Scorned that he was temporarily set back, the spirit of Hades plunged itself at Saori and brought her to Elysium, the heavenly sanctuary of the gods.
In Elysium, Hypnos and Thanatos, the Gods of Sleep and Death, respectively, and subordinates of Hades, imprisoned Saori Kido within an immense jar that gradually absorbed her blood and life force. It was now up to the saints to free her so that she may awaken to fight Hades. The bronze saints soon invaded Elysium and fought against Thanatos and Thanatos. Through sheer willpower and the heightening of their cosmos, the bronze saints were able to evolve their cloths into a new, higher stage known as the Bronze God Cloths. The armors allowed them to be near the level of the gods in terms of strength. Thanatos and Hypnos were swiftly defeated.
Traveling to the location where Athena was held, Seiya and Ikki tried to destroy the jar, but to no avail. It would not be long before Hades -- in his true flesh and blood form --, took it upon himself to put an end to the bronze saints. Shiryu, Hyoga, and Shun joined them and the five saints fought valiantly against the Greek god, enough for him to become distressed at the possibility of defeat by the hands of humans. Angered, the God of the Underworld rebounded with a assailment of sword strikes that even the divinity of the bronze god cloths could not fully protect them from.
Hades targeted Seiya in particular, as he recognized his face from the prior war and was under the impression that the Pegasus had reincarnated to specifically battle him. He knocked Seiya around, forcing the Pegasus to relinquish Athena's divine God Cloth from his possession. The armor, in the form of a 1/6 scale Athena Parthenos, slid across the platform to the side of the unconscious Saori Kido.
With the extra boost of cosmos from her cloth, Athena, at last, received enough power to wake up and break free of her confinement. She was moved by the dedication that her bronze saints had shown to her, and extracted them from harm by moving them into separate cosmos vessels. Donning her cloth for the first time, Athena engaged Hades in a one-on-one fight. The God of the Underworld was relentless and struck violently, knocking Athena down at one point. As he went for the finishing blow, Seiya broke away from his shield and charged towards Hades with a final "Ryu Sei Ken" containing so much force that even the Greek god was overwhelmed by it. Unfortunately, the technique was executed with a heavy price. As Seiya landed his blows, Hades took the opportunity to puncture the saint with his holy sword -- effectively reducing the Pegasus' cosmos to zero.
Regaining his composure, Hades mocked Seiya's sacrifice and berated Athena for her love and compassion. Inspired by Seiya, the other bronze saints broke away from their shields and combined their cosmos with Athena's for one last attack. The goddess impaled Hades with the Staff of Victory that not even Hades could survive from. As his form began to dissipate, Hades vowed that, with his absence, the world shall spiral into darkness. At least the deity was vanquished.
In the end, Athena, appreciative of her saints' never-ending loyalty, carried them back to Earth to enjoy the peace they had earned.
Some time after the events of Hades, it was revealed that the King of the Underworld had struck Seiya with a deadly curse that will consume him if left untreated. The Pegasus Saint remained in comatose state, bound to a wheelchair. Athena realized that it was up to her to find a cure to save Seiya, and summoned her divine cloth and journeyed to locate one source who might help her -- the goddess of the moon, Artemis. She was accompanied by Andromeda Shun, and the two soon arrived before the celestial palace of the moon. On the way, Athena had to sacrifice much of her elegant hair to ensure that she and Shun were not led astray.
Artemis was not pleased that Athena would surrender her dignity as a goddess for these mere mortals, and tested her to find out if her determination to save their lives was true. After a minor exchange, Athena was able to convince her sister to lend her a hand. Artemis revealed that, in order to stop Hades and his curse, Athena must seek out Chronos, the God of Time. Once so, she must beg the Titan to allow her a passage to the past to remove destroy Hades' majestic sword -- the very item that the Lord of the Underworld had utilized to curse Seiya.
Athena pleaded her case upon meeting Chronos, but would find her words falling on unsympathetic ears. Not only did the primordeal god refuse to help, but he threatened her very life as well! It wasn't until after Chronos realized that Athena was, in fact, Zeus' daughter (and his granddaughter by lineage) that he finally agreed to help -- but not without a price. In exchange for her life, the God of Time opened a time portal that contained roads to every alternate dimensions of space and time in existence, and directed the goddess to the path that she must travel upon. He warned her, however, that she only has three days to complete her objective, and she absolutely must not alter any events during her journey -- or else the consequences would be dire. Athena agreed, and entered the portal.
Arriving in the past Holy War, Athena unexpectedly found herself separated from Shun, and worse yet, reverted to infancy and in immediate danger at the hands of that era's Pope. Fortunately, she was rescued from certain death by Shijima, the Virgo Saint of the 1700's. Her current whereabouts is unknown, except presumably still in Shijima's arms and on the run.
The events unfolded differently in the fifth Saint Seiya feature, "Tenkai-hen". Seiya's life did not perish from Hades, his cosmos had depleted to the point where his body had succumbed to a coma-like trance of inability. Time has passed, and Saori, living in a secluded location, took it upon herself to nurse the now wheelchair-bound Seiya, personally.
Artemis, the Greek goddess of the Moon and of Hunting, descended from the heavens with her warriors, the Angels, to seek answers from Athena and her saints. In the eyes of the great Olympian deities, the saints had, time and time again, defied the wills of the gods. Since Athena was their main motivation for fighting, the Greek gods demanded penance from her and her warriors -- specifically, in the form of deaths.
WIshing to allow her saints to live the peaceful lives that they deserve, Athena appeased Artemis by handing over the reigns of Sanctuary over to her sibling. She then traveled to a divine location within Sanctuary to repent for her acts by slitting her wrists and draining her blood into sacred waters.
Most of the saints questioned Athena's motive, with silver saint Shaina, bronze saints Jabu and Ichi, feeling deserted. The gold saints, having sacrificed all of their souls in the effort against Hades, were in no position to protest -- by the wills of the gods, their souls had been gathered into a collective state of petrification, trapped for eternity.
All the commotion forced Seiya's consciousness to come around. Memories of the final moments of Hades -- the god advancing towards him with his holy sword, piercing his heart, replayed in Seiya's mind. Climbing out of the wheelchair, the bronze saint crawled around the grassy field. Not long after, he was discovered by his mentor, Marin, who immediately composed her former student. Astounded that Seiya had regained his senses, she explained to him that she recognized something had happened with Athena, and urged Seiya to head to Sanctuary for the answers he seek.
The once holy land of the Saints was now in ruins. Without Athena's serene cosmos to protect it, Sanctuary had deteriorated into a state of dissonance it hadn't seen since Supreme Pontiff Ares -- perhaps worse. When Seiya arrived, he found that only Shaina, Jabu, and Ichi were present and active, and to his surprise, they attacked him. The Pegasus demanded to know what exactly had transpired in his absence, and his friends explained that Athena had simply abandoned them; that the title "Saint of Athena" no longer existed, and that they fought under Artemis' banner. Disbelieving their words, Seiya struck back -- only to find his cosmos refusing to ignite. Shaina declared that Sanctuary was no longer a home for Seiya or anyone still using the title of "Saint", and knocked him down into the cavern below. Down inside, Seiya rediscovered his Pegasus Cloth -- reverted to its strongest bronze state. Before tending to other matters, Shaina announced that Seiya was not the only one who was searching for answers.
The core group of Shun, Ikki, Shiryu, and Hyoga did not lose faith, and were individually investigating the noticeable turbulence that Artemis and her Angels had brought upon the Earth. Shun encountered Theseus, who easily dispatched of him until Ikki arrived for the save. The Phoenix encouraged his brother to let loose and fight for their values they believed in. Combining their attacks, Shun and Ikki soundly defeated the Angel. Not far away, Shiryu and Hyoga engaged Odysseus, who made short work of them until Seiya eventually showed up in the middle of the battle. The Pegasus reminded Shiryu and Hyoga that, like him, the peaks of their cosmos were much stronger than they've been letting on. Noticing that the Cygnus and the Dragon were still alive, Odysseus attacked them once more -- and paid the price. A bit after, Seiya himself ended up running into Touma, the third Angel and the younger brother of Marin. Touma specifically chose the Pegasus as his opponent because he wished the challenge the might that defeated the many gods.
By this point, Seiya had recovered some of his cosmos, but nowhere near the level that he had when he fought Poseidon and Hades. As such, Touma was the victor of the first round. The two would fight several more times, with Marin becoming involved at one point. At the same time, Athena had slowly became weakened by the graduate loss of blood sacrifice -- and it wasn't long before Seiya finally found her. Upon reuniting with Seiya and seeing his battle-worn clothes, Athena felt remorse for once again dragging her saints into another war. In a surprise turn of events, she pierced his chest with the Goddess of Victory staff. As the bronze saint fell into the pool of waters, Athena apologized for her uselessness. Seiya's will was strong, however, and he retained consciousness. He forgave her, and stated that the passion to fight was his choice more than anything.
Artemis interrupted this reunion, with Touma by her side. She had already turned a blind eye to Athena and her saints before, and could not do it again. Touma and Seiya fought once more, this time with Seiya having the upper-hand -- it seems that his cosmos had finally regained its sense of self. Athena revealed that Hades had cursed Seiya's cosmos when he previously stabbed the saint with his sword, and, her puncturing his chest moments ago was her attempt at removing it. With this in mind, Touma was promptly defeated, although not killed.
The Pegasus focused his attention on Artemis, but the appearance of Apollo, another Olympian God and the brother of both Artemis and Athena, halted Seiya from doing anything. It seems Apollo was a deity with a notable reputation that made even Athena feel inferior in comparison. Ignoring Seiya, the God of the Sun focused his attention directly to Athena. Unlike Artemis, Apollo did not feel any mercy towards Athena or the humans, and acknowledged that he wished to perish them. Hearing this, Seiya challenged Apollo with a single cosmos concentrated fist, with Athena supporting him. The Sun God was appalled by the sight of a human daring to strike his sword at a god -- but calmly asserted that his power was too insignificant to ever reach the likes of him.
In an unspecified date and time, peace had once again dawned upon the Earth. Out for a leisure walk on a spring meadow somewhere, Saori Kido came across a familiar young man wearing a tattered red t-shirt and carrying a small backpack. He appeared to be in search for a certain someone, and pardoned for her help.
In a flashback to the last moments of Seiya and Athena's confrontation with Apollo, Seiya, now donning a new version of the Pegasus Cloth, achieved the impossible and made a mark upon the deity's face.
Concept & Creation
|Gods of Olympus|
|Zeus · Poseidon · Athena · Apollo · Artemis · Hades · Ares · Chronos · Hypnos · Thanatos|
|Gods in other works|
|Greek||Athena (Lost Canvas) · Athena (Omega) · Eris · Eris(Saintia Sho) · Abel · Gaia · Pontos · Typhon · Oneiros · Phantasos · Ikelos · Morpheus · Phobetor · Kairos ·|
|Roman||Mars · Diana · Bacchus · Vulcanus · Romulus · Pallas · Saturn|
|Norse||Odin · Loki|
|Diverse Gods||Lucifer · Abzu · Other Gods|